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robertogreco : jerthorp   4

An Artist in Every Library — Medium
"A large-scale residency program placing an artist in every library, archive and museum would rejuvenate institutions and promote critical engagement with information."



"Zach Lieberman has famously said that ‘art practice is the R&D lab for humanity’. In an age where many of our most important challenges lie in our relationship with information, it’s vitally important for artists to be engaging at this intersection. Indeed, it is happening: Deep Lab, a congress of artists and researchers recently held at Carnegie Mellon offers a good survey for the variety of methods, materials an approaches that are being used by artist to engage with information issues."



"First, two ground rules:

The Artists is not cheap labor. Some librarians reading this post might be thinking: this is an excellent idea! We need poster making / data visualization/ <insert useful task here>. We can get an artist to do it! This is not how it works. To get full benefit from these engagements, the work done must be artist-driven and free from constraints.

The Library is not a free studio. While artists should be encouraged to bring projects and ideas into the residency, it’s important that the work done is not just in the institution, but with the institution. Artists should be expected to collaborate with staff, and to immerse themselves in the communities and expertise of the host organization.

The focus here is on symbiosis, on the creation of a relationship where the artist and the institution, along with the community at large, benefit. It is not about bringing art into libraries, but art making, and all of the messiness and rigor and criticality and questioning that comes with it."
art  residencies  libraries  museums  2015  zachlieberman  collections  archives  jerthorp  glvo 
january 2015 by robertogreco
The Hypercard Legacy — Medium
"This type of plain-language programming makes sense, particularly in an application that was designed specifically for non-programmers. I have been teaching programming to designers and artists for nearly a decade, and I find the largest concern for learners to be not with the conceptual hurdles involved in writing a program, but with obscure and confusing syntax requirements. I would love to be able to teach HyperTalk to my students, as a smooth on-road to more complex languages like JavaScript, Java or C++.

HyperTalk wasn’t just easy, it was also fairly powerful. Complex object structures could be built to handle complicated tasks, and the base language could be expanded by a variety of available externdal commands and functions (XCMDs and XFCNs, respectively), which were precursors to the modern plug-in.

This combination of ease of use and power resonated with the HyperCard user base, who developed and shared thousands of unique stacks (all in a time before the web). A visit to a BBS in the late 80s and early 90s could give a modem-owner access to thousands of unique, often home-made tools and applications. Stacks were made to record basketball statistics, to teach music theory, and to build complex databases. The revolutionary non-linear game Myst first appeared as a HyperCard stack, and the Beatles even got into the scene, with an official stack for A Hard Days Night."



"In new media, practitioners are often identified with the specific tools that they use. I started out as a ‘Flash guy’ and over the last few years have been connected more and more with the open source software project Processing. Though I originally came to Processing to escape the Flash Player’s then sluggish performance, I value the platform as much for its ease of use and its teachability as I do for its ability to quickly add floating point numbers. Lately, I’ve been asked the same question, over and over again:

‘Why don’t you move to OpenFrameworks? It’s much faster!’

It is true that projects built in OF run faster than those built in Processing. This question, though, seems to be missing a key point: faster does not always equal better. Does every pianist want to play the pipe organ because it has more keys? Is a car better than a bicycle?

In my case, choosing a platform to work with involves as much consideration to simplicity as it does to complexity. I am an educator, and when I work on a project I am always thinking about how the things that are learned in the process can be packaged and shared with my students and with the public.

Which brings us to the broader concept of accessibility. HyperCard effectively disappeared a decade a go, making way for supposedly bigger and better things. But in my mind, the end of HyperCard left a huge gap that desperately needs to be filled – a space for an easy to use, intuitive tool that will once again let average computer users make their own tools. Such a project would have huge benefits for all of us, wether we are artists, educators, entrepreneurs, or enthusiasts."



"I could imagine a new version of HyperCard being built from the ground up around its core functional properties: HyperTalk, easy to use UI elements, and a framework for extensions. It’s the kind of open source project that could happen, but with so much investment already existing in other initiatives such as Processing and OpenFrameworks, it might not be the best use of resources. So, let’s forget for now about a resurrection. Instead of thinking bigger, let’s think smaller.

HyperCard for the iPhone?
It might not be as crazy as you think. Imagine having a single, meta app that could be used to make smaller ones. This ‘App-Builder App’, like HyperCard, could combine easy to use, draggable user interface elements with an intuitive, plain language scripting language. As a quick visit to the App Store will show you, many or most of the apps available today could be built without complex coding. You don’t need Objective C to make a stock ticker, or a unit converter, or a fart machine. These home-made apps could be shared and adapted, cross-bred and mutated to create generation after generation of useful (and not so useful programs).

By putting the tools of creation into the hands of the broader userbase, we would allow for the creation of ultra-specific personalized apps that, aside from a few exceptions, don’t exist today. We’d also get access to a vastly larger creative pool. There are undoubtedly many excellent and innovative ideas out there, in the heads of people who don’t (yet) have the programming skills to realize them. The next Myst is waiting to be built, along with countless other novel tools and applications.

With the developer restrictions and extreme proprietism of the iPhone App Store, it’s hard to remember the Apple of the 80s. Steve Jobs, Bill Atkinson and their team had a vision to not only bring computers to the people, but also to bring computer programming to the public – to make makers out of the masses. At Apple, this philosophy, along with HyperCard seems to have mostly been lost. In the open source community, though, this ideal is alive and well – it may be that by reviving some ideas from the past we might be able to create a HyperCard for the future."
jerthorp  2009  2014  hypercard  apple  history  programming  toolmaking  billatkinson  myst  accessibility  tilestack  hypertalk  coding 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Science Fiction: New Art/Science Affinities
"Last February, I had the distinctive and life-altering honor of being asked to participate in a week-long “booksprint” at Carnegie Mellon University’s STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. For a week of 10-hour days, I wrote collaboratively with brilliant people (Régine Debatty, Pablo Garcia, Andrea Grover, and Thumb Projects) on a 190-page book about the current moment in intersections between art, science, and technology. We hoped to provide a glimpse into a culture of ideas that is still very much being born.

The book includes meditations, interviews, diagrams, letters and manifestos on maker culture, hacking, artist research, distributed creativity, and technological and speculative design. Sixty international artists and art collaboratives are featured…"
clairelevans  science  art  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  creativity  pablogarcia  andreagrover  thumbprojects  carnegiemellon  studioforcreativeinquiry  technology  2011  freeartandtechnology  caseyreas  philipross  tomássaraceno  symbioticA  jerthorp  mariuswatz  aaronkoblin  machineproject  brandonballengée  ateliervanlieshout  agnesmeyer-brandis  openframeworks  réginedebatty 
october 2011 by robertogreco

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